April 22, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court upheld Michigan's ban on the use of racial affirmative action in its state universities Tuesday, ruling that voters are entitled to decide the issue. The 6-2 decision clears away constitutional challenges to the state bans on affirmative action, which began in California in 1996. Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said the democratic process can decide such issues. “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,” he said.
March 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Speaking before a bank of microphones on the Supreme Court steps moments after the argument over gay marriage in California ended, lawyers for both sides said the justices asked probing questions and did not reveal much about how they would decide the case. Proponents in favor of legalizing gay marriage in California erupted in cheers and whistles as David Boies and Ted Olson emerged from the central door to the court. Both high-profile lawyers were part of the legal team arguing that the court should overturn the state ban. Boies told reporters it was "amazing" that the proponents of Proposition 8, the initiative that prohibited gay marriage, made "no effort to defend the ban on gay marriage.
June 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court opened the door Monday for California raisin growers to challenge the constitutionality of a Depression-era farming law that requires them to keep part of their annual crop off the market. In a 9-0 ruling, the justices cleared the way for Marvin and Laura Horne from Fresno to argue that this “mandatory reserve” program takes away their private property without just compensation. “This is America, not a communist state,” they said upon filing their suit.
January 27, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday relaxed sentencing guidelines for drug dealers, ruling they may not be given a mandatory 20-year prison term every time an overdose results in the death of a user. In a 9-0 decision, the justices ruled that federal prosecutors must prove that the heroin, cocaine or other illegal drug actually caused the death. Previously prosecutors and most federal courts had maintained that drug dealers must be sentenced to least 20 years in prison whenever an illegal drug was a “contributing cause” in a death.
June 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's opinions protecting the right to free speech and public protest came back home Wednesday, prompting a judge to rule protesters have a right to carry signs on the court's marble plaza. Since 1949, Congress has made it illegal to demonstrate or to carry banners and signs on the Supreme Court's grounds, including the marble plaza in front of the court's main steps. Protesters are free to demonstrate or carry signs on the sidewalk outside the court. But U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell called the restriction on the plaza “repugnant” to the 1st Amendment and declared it unconstitutional.
June 30, 2012 |
After eight years and millions of dollars in legal fees, CBS emerged victorious in its fight with the Federal Communications Commission over pop star Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl. On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to hear the FCC's request to reinstate a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the halftime performance featuring Jackson and singer Justin Timberlake, who at the end of the song "Rock Your Body" tore a piece of Jackson's top, briefly exposing her breast to an audience of about 90 million.
February 26, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled Wednesday that military commanders have broad power to keep protesters off of bases, including the public roads that pass through them. The decision upholds the prosecution of a veteran peace activist from Santa Barbara who repeatedly returned to protest on a highway outside Vandenberg Air Force Base, even after he had been ordered to stay away. John Dennis Apel had been barred from Vandenberg in 2003 after he threw blood on a base sign.
December 12, 2011 |
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Monday that she welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments about the state's controversial illegal immigration law. "I am confident the high court will uphold Arizona's constitutional authority and obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens," she said in a statement. "This case is not just about Arizona. It's about every state grappling with the costs of illegal immigration. And it's about the fundamental principle of federalism, under which these states have a right to defend their people.
December 9, 2011 |
Numbers. They're the darnedest things. Just ask Rick Perry. The GOP presidential contender, whose misfires have become part of the legend of the 2012 race, appears to have made another flub or two Friday in an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, getting wrong the number of justices on the Supreme Court and blanking out on the name of one justice altogether. According to reports by the Register and the Associated Press, Perry was all set to call out Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama nominee, as a "activist judge" -- except he couldn't recall her name.
June 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court blocked restaurant owners from suing American Express over high fees Thursday, the latest in a series of 5-4 rulings have barred class-action claims against big corporations. The majority agreed individual restaurant owners could not afford the nearly $1 million cost of bringing an antitrust claim against Amex. But they ruled that an arbitration clause prevents the restaurant owners from joining together to sue. “The antitrust laws do not guarantee an affordable path to the vindication of every claim,” said Justice Antonin Scalia.